Customizable design, Snappy performance
Kudos to Motorola for bringing this smartphone to all four major wireless carriers in the country, including good old US Cellular as well. That's something to say about the handset's intentions, as it lives up to prestigious honor of being recognized as a flagship. It's the perfect strategy for it, especially if Motorola really wants to be taken seriously by its rivals again.
Motorola's hardware is brilliant, Android remains solid
The average consumer, should they decide to gobble up the Moto X, will certainly be satisfied with all it has to offer, and even if it's not the most powerful beastie out there we've enjoyed using it this last week. It might not suit every man, woman and child, but if the customisation options are for you then that's one big box ticked.
Comfortable design, Moto Maker customization is phenomenal
We really like the Moto X. It's a lean, almost pure Google Android experience, with a few nice extras and amazing Google Now support. We were incredibly annoyed by the bug we encountered with Moto Assist and don't recommend you touch the app, but outside of that, it's still a great phone. Hopefully, Motorola fixes more bugs before its launch in late August and early September.
Amazing form factor, just feels natural to hold
It's great. It's wonderful. An all around wonderful phone. An excellent Android phone. But it isn't the radical change Motorola has hinted at, not yet at least. It's iterative; a waypoint on the path to undiscovered country, but not the promised land itself.
Smooth and snappy performance
With the Lumia 925, Nokia has created a charming device. It's a good-looking, thin and light smartphone that even features an aluminim frame to give it a premium taste. But thankfully, there's more than great design that the Nokia Lumia 925 can offer you. The handset features a sizable display of above-average quality, as well as a wonderful camera that will not only take great photos, but will also let you play with some fun features courtesy of the Nokia Smart Cam app.
Premium build, Superb camera, Strong suite of native apps
The Nokia Lumia 925 is undeniably a great phone in its own right, but it's just not a big enough improvement over the Nokia Lumia 920 for there to be any reason to buy it if you own last year's model. Even if you don't, you might be better off buying the Nokia Lumia 920, since it's substantially cheaper at around £330/US$400/AU$420 SIM-free.
With dated specs the Nokia Lumia 925 is definitely a case of style over substance.
Solid, attractive build
The Nokia Lumia 925 marks a slight change in direction for the Lumia series, adopting metal rather than sticking to series-staple polycarbonate. But otherwise its Lumia through and through, with a camera that offers unusually good low light performance, a phone that runs like a dream and bodywork that both looks and feels great.
Build quality is good
The Lumia 925 stands apart from preceding Windows handsets that Nokia styled more for pre-teens, with a slightly more sophisticated metal and grey plastic look. As a piece of phone hardware it's competently put together, but ultimately is undermined by an aesthetically challenged and unintuitive software interface, while you'll be lucky to find half the apps you might need to load on it.
Extended camera functionality, useful bundled Nokia apps
We're really impressed with Nokia's 925 as it's a sleek, refined handset with an amazing display and camera. Smart Camera is a highly usable and enjoyable setup which we're sure plenty of users will have fun with. In a very real sense the Lumia 925 is the phone the Lumia 920 should have been, but better late than never, we suppose.
Scaled down S4 design, Bright screen, Excellent camera
As for those wondering whether they should buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini instead of the Samsung Galaxy S3, truly that is something that you will have to decide for yourself. But the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini more than makes a case for itself, with the upgraded software, decent battery life and 4G tech more than giving the Samsung Galaxy S3 a run for its money.
Looks like its bigger brother but fits in the hand better
The Galaxy S4 mini is a great mid-range option, offering the same styling - which includes the same mediocre build quality - as its flagship counterpart, with a cheaper price tag. The cameras are good but the screen and storage are both under par. Consider the HTC One mini or the Nexus 4 as serious alternatives.
Fantastic styling, nice size, great screen
The Mini remains a solidly built, likeable and surprisingly capable phone. TouchWiz and the included apps are, for us, not exactly welcome these days - we'd prefer a more "Google" look, but there is so much extra functionality here with Samsung's services that we can't argue that these customisations aren't necessary.
Fits great in the hand, Nice screen
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is a little frustrating. It has the pieces to make it an affordable alternative to some of the gargantuan top-tier phones, but it falls short of the mark.
It's not, as the name suggest, simply a mini version of the Samsung Galaxy 4, but a completely different phone with wildly different specs and the only part that's the same is the plastic-fuelled design. The wait for a really good small screened Android phone continues.
Svelte metallic design, Pentaband radio
With its combination of curved lines and sharp metal edges, the slimmest phone out there is undoubtedly one of the most elegant designs we've seen, too, and not only in the Android world.
The Ascend P6 gets almost all major smartphone details right except for the mediocre camera, which has some issues both with pictures and video. For about 400 (USD or EUR), we can't complain if something is lacking on a midranger, especially in such a thin and light package.
Stylish, powerful enough for most uses
We like the P6. It's got good looks, runs well and it feels well built. Yes, there are some really minor niggles, like that daft headphone cover/pin, among some more major issues such as the limited battery life - but we still rather like the phone when it's in full swing.
Incredibly thin, Highly customisable homescreens
If you want a ridiculously slim phone to slide into your pocket and don't mind that its specs are more typical of last year's kit, the Ascend P6 is one to consider. Its overheating is a concern though, as are the small issues with construction and software. Let's hope Huawei sorts them out before it goes on sale.
Clearly arranged operating system
Overall, the Ascend P6 lags behind the current first league of smartphones in a few points. Nevertheless, it is an impressive phone but not only because of its very slim build and good workmanship. Users who do not need LTE or a Full HD screen and can accept a lower performance will get a good smartphone for just under 450 Euros (~$599), which is more located in the midrange than the premium range.
Great design, Super thin form factor
The Ascend P6 combines a good set of hardware in a very sexy design and super thin form factor that very few other handsets have achieved. Huawei has certainly done a lot of effort in order to give the P6 the title of worldÃ¢Â? Â? thinnest and the attention to detail is very evident.
Handles 3D games flawlessly, Great call quality
There is no such thing as a perfect smartphone, and the Sony Xperia SP won't be the one to break that rule. However, looking at its pros and cons after testing it extensively, we can confidently conclude that its a mid-range smartphone worthy of attention. It is a capable multimedia device suitable for those who want the benefits associated with high-end devices ??
Lower price, Impressive specs
Although not blessed with the looks or specs of the Xperia Z, the Sony Xperia SP is a phone that still deserves a raised eyebrow of appreciation thanks to the combination of spec list and likely price.
The body is smooth and feels quality in the hand, and while the screen is slightly dwarfed by the larger chassis, there's no doubt this is a phone that could fly off the shelves if enough people get fed up with the notion of spending loads of money each month on a handset.
Beautiful and well-built
Sony is doing the right thing by offering a midrange smartphone hot on the heels of their two flagships. Last year, HTC had a similar thing going on with the One X and the One S but failed to capitalize on the width they had through those two excellent devices. We're yet to see whether or not Sony will do better but if you're looking for a capable smartphone in the 300 euro range, the Xperia SP should be high on your short list.
Excellent range of connectivity options
The Xperia SP is a very likeable mid-range phone. It's reasonably powerful for the price, has a stellar line up of features and looks pretty fly too. However, Sony needs to iron out a few quirks in its software, and the phone's battery life isn't quite as impressive as specs would suggest.
An impressive mid-range Android smartphone
The Sony Xperia SP has the spec and price of a mid-range Android smartphone, but when you actually get the device in your hands and start using it any ideas of it being mediocre go out of the window. It really is a class act, so if you're looking for a good phone to browse the web, perform tasks quickly and take decent photos with at a price that won't break the bank, then you really should consider the Xperia SP.
Nice design, frame feels solid in the hand
The Sony Xperia SP is a good mid-range phone. There's power and flexibility on board and there's the performance to back it up, aside from a few minor quirks.
The design of the handset is good too with the metal frame giving the SP a nice solid feel. We're not sold on the flashing bar however, it just seems a little too much at times, especially when you're lying awake at night, watching it illuminate your bedroom.
The camera performance isn't great.
Great design, able to change colors of LED alerts
The Xperia SP could have been a great smartphone with its solid build and great design. However, the poor display and camera performance lets the phone down. Retailing at S$598 in Singapore, the handset seems aggressively priced, especially against the HTC One SV (which has a street price of around S$500 but lower specs). The smartphone will also make its way to other parts of Asia, though Sony has yet to release further information.
Good physical QWERTY keyboard
The BlackBerry Q10 is every inch a BlackBerry. It has the traditional BB form-factor and, more importantly - the physical QWERTY keyboard that's coveted by so many BlackBerry fans. This, however, is a device that's exclusively targeted at existing BlackBerry users, we don't think the Q10 is capable of attracting new ones.
As a niche smartphone, the BlackBerry Q10 is a pretty decent performer. It can do anything a diehard BlackBerry user would want it to do and more.
Full physical keyboard, Impressive web speeds
Without doubt the BlackBerry Q10 is the best QWERTY keyboard smartphone on the market, which is certainly a bold claim - until you consider, what other high-end smartphones are sporting a full-on keyboard these days? Exactly.
It may be the best, but it's the best of one. People will buy the Q10 for its QWERTY keyboard, it's a business tool and in that arena it excels.
Easy phone to appreciate
In terms of where the market is heading and where BlackBerry want to be, we cannot help the thought that they'd rather have the Z10, and its successors, up there with the best than keep the messenger concept on life support. On the other hand, it's QWERTY messengers that have shaped the company's identity. It's a tough one, finding the right balance between what the market wants and respect of tradition.
Provide snappy performance for touches
BlackBerry's Q10 is filled with many creative features but its ultimate success will come down to one basic question: Do you want a qwerty device? I don't think the era of the qwerty is over, since I have met users who prefer a physical keyboard. But they are in the definite minority.
Excellent hardware QWERTY keyboard, long battery life
The BlackBerry Q10 brings the traditional BlackBerry smartphone into the modern age. I suspect it's enough to make BlackBerry loyalists happy, though I doubt iPhone and Android users will flock to it (that was the BlackBerry Z10's job). It's fast, stable, and secure and it maintains enough of the UI conventions of older BlackBerry smartphones to make existing BlackBerry owners feel a bit less lost.
Design, improved camera, some nice UI features
In summary, we like the BlackBerry Q10 because it embodies those things that we love best about BlackBerry. We like the design and the keyboard experience, but beyond that communication experience, there's little that's unique and BB10 is still some way behind rival offerings.
Likeable design, Great screen quality
Nokia has covered pretty much all price points with its Lumias, with the 520 and 620 being even cheaper, but if you plan on going that way, keep in mind that you are going to get what you're paying for. We also don't encourage you to purchase the Lumia 820, because it simply lacks the finesse of the 720. Yes, it has a slightly better processor and a bit more RAM, but specs don't really matter much when real-life performance speaks otherwise.
Slick OS, Good camera, Attractive design
We really like the Nokia Lumia 720, it's a great all round smartphone and while it doesn't do enough for us to love it, we would seriously recommend it.
It falls into a difficult place in the market with strong competition from the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini and HTC One S, but both of those handsets are getting on a bit and the Lumia 720 has the vitality of youth in its favour.
Widest aperture on a phone yet
The Nokia Lumia 720 may be some of the best work we've seen from the Finns recently - not a pricy best-of-the-best flagship, but an affordable, well-built phone that packs more than enough features to get users interested. It has its nagging flaws, but as an overall package it's hard to beat.
Higher-end features without a massive display
In some ways, the Lumia 720 is everything we've asked for from Nokia. It's slickly designed and has superlative battery life, the camera out-performs rivals in the same price bracket, and the screen - though lower resolution than we like - is a nice compromise of size, outdoor usability, and general clarity.
Resistant to dust and water damage
Let's be serious, people. The Sony Xperia acro S may not be the best smartphone out there, but it is the ultimate water-resistant Android handset that money can buy outside of Japan. Sure, we cannot deny that it is a bit bulky and its capacitive keys are kind of tricky to use, but its flaws are greatly outnumbered by its advantages, such as the catchy design, high-resolution display, capable camera, and rich multimedia feature set.
Good camera, Great array of multimedia apps
Sony certainly hit its stride in 2012, hitting on a solid and unique looking design ID for its smartphone products. The Acro S falls in line with the rest of the family in this regard, but fails to really stand out from the pack, too.
Having a rugged option is good, but there are trade-offs in size and weight to make, and if you don't feel like you're at risk of destroying your phone, then you'd be better off choosing an Xperia S, or something from Samsung or HTC instead.
Very solid smartphone
In conclusion, the Sony Xperia acro S is a very solid smartphone. It didn't manage to beat non-water-resistant smartphones at their own game (which is too much to ask of any such smartphone, realistically speaking), but it does the task it was created to do quite splendidly. Here's hoping that Sony will take good care of it and issue an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in a timely manner.
Great outdoor phone
This phone finally looked promising combining a rugged design with solid performance. Its specifications are exactly what I wanted: a good processor, a lot of ram, decent battery runtime, microSD slot and even Ant+ support (for heart rate monitors etc.).
I especially like the feeling that everything is well thought through, for instance the charging dock, to preserve the water protection of the USB port.
Homogeneous screen illumination
Sony's Xperia Acro S wants to merge completely different areas. On the one hand, it is to be a multimedia device with all modern features and on the other, it has to fulfill the requirements of an outdoor sport device. The question remains whether an athlete wants to do sports with an almost 150 gram (~0.33 pounds), 4.3-inch smartphone. Looking at things separately, it meets all the requirements because the installed hardware is more than adequate and passed all executed performance tests.
Water-proof and dust-proof
The Sony Xperia Acro S separates itself from the pack by offering features that other flagship handset can only dream of water-proof and dust-proof. It's the perfect handset to bring to the beach or on a trek to the rapids of Cagayan de Oro, probably even for surfing.
Laggy performance Too big and heavy
There is definitely a market for the Ascend Mate, but we don't belong to it. If you are someone who doesn't mind using two hands to hold a phone, someone who carries their handset in a bag anyway, then it could be the phone for you. You'll be rewarded with amazing battery life if you decided to choose a Mate.
Bigger screen, a faster processor and - quite possibly - a lower price
However, we remain unconvinced by the Huawei Ascend Mate. It has a big, huge, massive screen. But isn't it too big? We've leaped over many screen size hurdles over the past four years, but when you need to start wearing surfer shorts to accommodate a new phone, isn't that something else? Perhaps we'll learn to love the Huawei Ascend Mate in time, but for now we'll stick to our Samsung Galaxy Note 2s.
Lags when performing processor-intensive tasks
If extended battery life and a huge screen for web browsing is all your after, then the Huawei Ascend Mate will see you right. However, those after an immersive gaming experience might find the processor lets things down a little. Waiting for Samsung's Galaxy Mega 6.3 might be a better option.
Sensibly priced, big screen is very useful and the quality is good
So with everything considered, the price, the brilliance of the phone in general, we have to say the Mate has earned our respect. We liked it from the moment we took it out of the box, and it just kept impressing us. This is one of Huawei's finest, and we hope it does more like this.
Very bend and torsion resistant
In the end, there are only two areas where the Huawei smartphone is not so impressive. Those would be the completely average image quality of the integrated cameras and the occasional soft background noise that we heard when phoning a landline, regardless of where we were standing. Altogether, the Ascend Mate imparts a really good attitude and is a looker with definitely more to offer than just a large display.
Display offers a comparable image quality
I am personally a big fan of phablets so I was really excited to discover the Huawei Ascend Mate when it was unveiled at CES 2013.
The product design quality is similar to my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 except for the lack of stylus, additionally, the display offers a comparable image quality. I am a little concerned with the fact that the device is slightly too wide for my hand, there is a tipping point where the user experience might stop to be agreeable with this type of form factor.
Looks good for a ruggedized phone
Like eating a Yorkie while driving an 18 wheeler, using the Cat B15 just makes you feel that bit more manly. In fact there are plenty more reasons to like this phone as it looks good by ruggedized standards, comes with the silky smooth Jelly Bean Android OS and has a half decent camera and good battery life. However, its spec is a bit disappointing given its relatively high price tag and the way the battery sometimes pops out when it's dropped onto a hard surface is a bit worrying.
Bulky, no 4G, dim screen with muted colors
The CAT B15 is a perfect fit for someone with an active lifestyle or a job working on a construction site if durability is your one and only concern. The CAT B15 stands out from other durable phones because of its touch-based smartphone functionality, making it a good option for those in fieldwork. However, other smartphone buyers might prefer a handset that looks nicer, with improved performance, connectivity and camera capabilities.
Sturdy, solid design
The CAT B15 is a niche handset and, as such, is very easy to pin down for a verdict. It's unquestionably one of the best rugged handsets we've looked at and will stand up to the rigours of outdoor usage whatever the weather. The inclusion of Jelly Bean and the versatility of the Google Play store give the B15 scope for customisation, and basic necessities like Bluetooth and GPS are included.
Water, dust and shock proof
The CAT B15 is water, dust and shock proof, but unlike some tough phones it boasts a 4-inch touchscreen and Android Jelly Bean software. It's strong enough to put up with a tough life on a building site, while letting you enjoy apps and games from the Google Play store when you've finished constructing things.
Very solid build, Dual SIM support
Caterpillar clearly thinks there's a point in continuing to update its line of rugged hands, but I'm not so sure that plan makes sense. These days, mainstream handset makers do rugged quite well, and Caterpillar needs to offer more than they do in order to compete successfully.
Rugged phone which can withstand water, falls - and a dog's appetite
The B15 is never going to be a mass market phone - and will pose no threat to the world's leading manufacturers. That said, it absolutely has a place in the market - albeit niche. Whilst builders and construction workers are ultimately the key target, the CAT phone has enough about it to appease anyone simply after a device which they can rely upon, whatever the environment.
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